Lauder 201701 Jul 2017
(Photo: Linda Smallbone, Jim Howard, Andy Meyers, Trevor Wilde, Malcolm Brain and inset Sheena Wilde & David White)(click photo to enlarge)
EGTSC shooters return with Scottish silver
While South-East England baked in a heatwave, seven members of East Grinstead Target Shooting Club travelled 400 miles north to brave the cooler, wetter and windier conditions of the 71st Scottish Small-bore Rifle Meeting. The week-long competition, held in the grounds of Thirlestane Castle, in the Scottish Border town of Lauder, attracted around 200 hardy competitors from all over Britain. The East Grinstead shooters did exceptionally well, winning 7 individual competitions and 1 team event as well as making up half of the Sussex team that won the County competition.
Star of the show, not unexpectedly, was club champion Andy Meyers. Competing in the highest X class, he won the Weekend Aggregate, the Unsquadded Aggregate and three other competitions, as well as being a member of both the winning teams. Despite this impressive haul, and a host of other 2nd places, Andy faced some very strong opposition and in the main Championship Aggregate, finished 3rd just 5 points (out of 2000) behind the winner, and missing second on a tie break.
Linda Smallbone and Malcolm Brain, also competing at the top level in X class, had less individual success but joined Andy in a team of three to win the New Zealand Challenge Shield, a very impressive trophy that, appropriately, needs a team of three to carry it.
In A class, Trevor Wilde was the top English shooter, finishing in 5th place overall. Although highly creditable, Trevor was slightly disappointed as one place higher would have gained him promotion to X class and possibly a place in the England team. Trevor, with Linda, Andy and three others, represented Sussex in the County competition, winning the ‘Sextette’ Shield by a handsome 23-point margin.
Meanwhile in C class, Jim Howard began the week badly with a series of equipment issues that left him firmly anchored at the foot of the table. However, with the help and encouragement of the rest of the team, the kit problems were resolved and as the week progressed so did his scores. By Thursday evening Jim had reversed his fortune and crept to the top of two tables with just a handful of results to come in. It was a long night but Friday morning revealed the final scores with Jim claiming two first places and a trophy in the Unsquadded Aggregate competition.
David White, in A class, and Sheena Wilde, in B class, completed the team. David struggled a bit with the conditions but generally finished in the top half of the table; a 3rd place in competition 10 (60 shots at 50m) helping to secure 7th place overall in the Unsquadded Aggregate. Sheena, competing in a National shoulder-to-shoulder competition for the first time, had mixed fortunes and couldn’t produce the consistency necessary to capitalise on a series of good cards but the experience will stand her in good stead for the future.
Friday morning saw Andy Meyers and Linda Smallbone take their places in England teams shooting against Scotland in the Home Countries international matches. Both teams were successful, the Scots suffering rare home defeats to their ‘Auld Enemy’ by small margins in each case.
(Report: Jim Howard)